• Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 3/26/2015
    Wow, what a great week !!  Unbelievable that it is our last week prior to Spring Break.  I just returned from watching our Lady Wolves Tennis Team fiercely battling Timberline High School.  What a beautiful afternoon for a tennis match !! 

    I know these conference weeks require so much planning and preparation and are so crucial to the family partnerships we forge to support our students; all of them – no exceptions.  Thank you for the extra time and effort each of you provide to make these successful. 

    Our March enrollment report continues to trend better than budget and significantly better than last year.  This continues to be strong and stable sign for us as a district. As a district, this is the strongest and most stable enrollment trend line we have had in years.  Thank you for all your efforts in shaping this stable positive trend. 

    On the agenda at tonight’s boundary meeting, we will be reviewing the feedback from the two forums and that has been emailed to us.  The committee will also receive information regarding the recommendation from the Highly Capable Committee and on estimated costs of the roll up of the ninth graders to the high school. Within the context of all of this information, the committee will review specific areas of the elementary boundary recommendation. Olalla, Orchard Heights and Sidney Glen are three areas that will be reviewed as well as any other areas that emerged from the feedback.  The committee will then make any revisions they deem appropriate based on the information that was reviewed and finalize the recommendation that will be submitted for further public feedback.

    South Kitsap School District was well represented at the 2015 Kitsap County Youth Rally for Human Rights with 57 students in attendance. The theme was “the heart of the community is …you”   Members of Builders of Unity from the high school,  GSA and Sign choir from the high school and One World Club from Sedgwick and Builders of Unity from Marcus participated and led in this all-day event.  Builders of Unity from the high school led a workshop on stereo typing called “Head Games”  and conducted  the closing ceremonies.

    South Kitsap School District is pleased to announce a partnership with the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce to recognize Star Staff Members. Each quarter, a certificated and classified staff member will be invited to attend the Chamber of Commerce luncheon and be recognized for their hard work and dedication to the district. Nominations may be submitted STAR STAFF Nomination Form by peers or supervisors. The first recognition will take place at the Chamber Luncheon on April 9 and the deadline for nominations is Friday, March 27, 2015.

    Orchard Heights’ Destination Imagination Team took 3rd place at their competition held at Klahowya Secondary School. Our Destination Imagination team consisted of the following students: Grace Jacobson, Alec Perry, Jaiden Carroll, Jack Bernstein and Zachary Hovland. 6th Grade boys — Shannon Macomber, Alexander Herbst and Daultan Lynam took 5th place. Destination Imagination is led by Mrs. Ann Braunstein. Orchard Heights represented the South Kitsap School District. Students were presented their awards by U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer. Congratulations to all!!   

    Mr. Tom O’Loughlin, Marcus Whitman Junior High School teacher, reports that several Marcus Whitman Junior High Quest students placed at the Regional History Day contest at Olympic College on Monday and will compete at the State contest on May 2 at Green River Community College. The History Day theme this year is “Leadership and Legacy in History.”  Six of the eight who advanced haven’t advanced in the contest before. We are proud of all the students who competed. 

    In a history making event at the South Kitsap High School Pool, the Lady Wolves got their first ever water polo win with a 19-7 win over Foss.  Leading the team was Aubrey Lash with 5 goals, the first coming within the first 15 seconds of the game.  Emma Brown scored 3, Kaitlyn Chayer, Natalie Posadas, Danicka Moe and Mackenzie Collopy scored two goals each, Talia Fazio, Lilya Jaeren, and Emmy Hoeiseth all scored one apiece.  It was a great game by all! Congrats, Lady Wolves!   

    We are continuing to accept applications for the 2015-16 first grade Spanish Immersion program at Burley Glenwood Elementary.  The students in this year’s Spanish Immersion program will move on to the second grade Spanish Immersion program.  “Wherever we are, whatever our line of work, we are affected by nearly everything else that’s happening in the world….Society should be prepared to communicate and do business across international boundaries….Community, business and civic leaders increasingly will build relationships with counterparts in other nations.” Gary Marx, Sixteen Trends.   The following link from the Spanish Immersion Program by Minnetonka Public Schools http://vimeo.com/14073214 provides an informative look into what an immersion program entails and how one district in the country has captured the experience.  Central to the South Kitsap Spanish Immersion Program is the knowledge that we are preparing our students for a vastly different future and world than in the past and even the present. Creative, inquisitive and innovative thinking integrated with collaborative, communicative, compassionate and global minded attributes are the components of successful citizenship in the 21st Century. 

    Please enjoy a restful and blessed Spring Break. 

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 3/19/2015

    What another great week !!  Concerts, talent shows and dramatic productions are occurring all over the district.  The spring sports season is well under way and March Madness is permeating the country.  What a great time to be in education and supporting our next generation.  And, yes, parent conferences just around the corner…

    We had a very successful Boundary Review Forum Wednesday night at Cedar Heights.  Our final community forum was tonight at John Sedgwick at 6:00pm.  The community members on the committee who presented the recommendation did an awesome job.   The leadership team and staff provided strong support for these challenging conversations.  I am so impressed with the collegial nature of these conversations.  There is no limit to the good we can do when we come together as a community. 

    It is bittersweet that I announce several administrative changes in our district.  Mr. Josh Emmons, our current Assistant Principal at Cedar Heights, has just accepted the position of Principal at Poulsbo Middle School in the North Kitsap School District.  While we are enormously proud of Josh’s accomplishments, we are also sad to see him head north. Mr. Mark Gudger, formerly an administrative intern at Cedar Heights, has accepted the interim Assistant Principal position at Orchard Heights for the remainder of the year.  Please join me in congratulating these two gentlemen as they continue in these new chapters of their careers.  We are better for their service. 

    The Highly Capable Task Force brought their Report and recommendation to the Board this past week.  The thirty seven member team, led by Ms. Kris Christenberry, Marcus Whitman Junior High Assistant Principal,  has spent the last year researching best practice in highly capable programming and has had many robust debates as they came to consensus.  Program delivery model research was reviewed and program survey results collected and discussed. These recommendations will dramatically change the manner in which we serve our elementary highly capable students.  With the advent of new State legislation, these changes were necessary to comply with statutory expectations.  I am proud of the hard work and dedication that members of this committee demonstrated in making the courageous recommendation for program change.  We all know change isn’t easy; yet, I appreciate the thoughtfulness in this work.  We remain resolute in providing the best educational experience for each child – no exceptions.

    Earlier this week, twenty high school students from around Washington State participated in the August Wilson Monologue Competition.  It was an amazing night of young actors performing the words of America’s greatest African American playwright.  Of the twenty students statewide, seven of them were from South Kitsap!!!  From Mr. Scott Yingling; “The opportunity to see our young people on a professional stage, in front of hundreds of people, made me proud to be an educator and even more proud to be from South Kitsap.  It was very entertaining to hear people all night say, ‘Where is Port Orchard?  I thought it was a little farming community!’”  One of our senior’s, Noah Skillman, took 2nd place overall and will be representing our area in New York City in May.  He will have the opportunity to compete against the best and most talented young actors from L.A., Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, New York, Atlanta, and Portland.  It is a three day trip that includes Broadway shows, professional acting workshops, and he will be performing on Broadway at the August Wilson Theatre.  We are so proud of all our actors that participated and their hard work.  Here is a list of all that competed; Cannon Jones, Emmilee Lambert, Morgen Bailey, Casey Alvestad, Riley Allen, and Kaylie Brown.  If you see these young people or have them in class, please congratulate them on this huge accomplishment.  Another great example of dedication to the pursuit of excellence on the part of our teachers and students.  GO SK !!

    A reminder that we are a Policy Governance district and as such review our performance regularly at Board meetings.  As a continuing part of my evaluation, the Board also reviewed Executive Limitation 8 (EL 8) this past week.  Given the budget challenges in recent years, this is a particularly important Executive Limitation for monitoring purposes.  Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this Executive Limitation or my certification of same. 

    This past Friday evening, the high school science department held a very successful Science Fair.  These are pictures from the Science Extravaganza.  The South Kitsap High School Science Department estimated that about three hundred people showed up for the event. Students from Astronomy, AP Physics, Honors Biology, Integrated and Marine Science were involved.  It was a fantastic evening and really showcased our incredibly capable  and innovative students.  Thank you to the SKHS Science Department staff for supporting this important work.  It matters. 

    Finally, a staff member recently sent me this provocative article http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/03/reinventing-high-school/387190/ on an interesting approach to the high school experience.  This illustrates several of the tenets that the Innovative Program Task Force has wrestled with over the past two years. 

     Enjoy a great almost spring week-end,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 3/12/2015

    Wow, what a great week!!  Although the weather has shifted a bit, it is actually nice to see and feel the soft spring rain…

    As it is Classified Staff Appreciation Week, I want to take a moment and acknowledge the outstanding contributions of our classified staff in the school district.  Our School Board celebrated the Governor’s Proclamation at our recent meeting.  We could not meet the educational needs of our children without these important contributions.  “Classified employees are involved in nearly every aspect of education, including maintaining school buildings and grounds, providing secretarial and clerical assistance, preparing and serving meals, providing safe transportation, keeping school facilities clean and orderly, assisting in the classroom, providing a secure learning environment, and many other specialized services.”  Thank you for all you do for South Kitsap School District.  We are a better district for your dedicated efforts.    

    The Boundary Review Committee will meet again tonight from 6:00pm – 8:00pm.  The agenda lays out work that will identify the two scenarios that they will present at the public forums on Wednesday, March 18 at Cedar Heights and Thursday, March 19 at John Sedgwick.  The forums are from 6:00pm – 7:30pm.  The committee will identify the members who will be presenting the scenarios at the forum as well as talking points about the scenarios. 

    Little Shop of Horrors is a comedy musical, by composer Alan Menken  and writer Howard Ashman.  The show is about a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh.  Our SKHS rendition https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwKKQGJefvA will provide some interesting twists to this ‘classic’.  We continue to be so proud of our performing arts students and our fantastic staff, Ms. Debi Emans and Mr. Scott Yingling.  This is the last week-end of the show and it is a must see. 

    I am planning to be in Washington DC on Friday to participate in a Teaching and Learning Conference and speak as part of a National STEM panel “STEM Panel:  The Future of STEM Education"  . The STEM panel is scheduled for Friday, March 13th at 2:30 p.m. Other panelists are:  Russell Shilling, Executive Director of STEM, United States Department of Education, Regina Schofield, Director of Corporate Engagement and Education Outreach, Battelle, Michelle Thaller, Assistant Director of Science, NASA, Cheryl Refield, Teacher Leader and Gates Foundation Advisory Board member, and Kareen Borders, Director of Professional Learning and Assessment, Olympic Educational Service District 114.  I may have an opportunity to chat with Arne Duncan… ;>)  If you have any comments you want to make sure I include, please do not hesitate to contact me as I want to represent our interests well.  I also know how important this work is to the future of our community and country. 

    I want to share with all staff that based on our enrollment projections and current budget condition, I am not planning to institute a RIF process for staff in the coming year.  While there may be unique program or special circumstances requiring staffing adjustments, it is not my intent to take a RIF resolution to the Board. 

    We  are pleased to announce a partnership with the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce to recognize Star Staff Members. Each quarter a certificated and classified staff member of the district will be invited to attend the Chamber of Commerce luncheon and be recognized for their hard work and dedication to the district. Nominations may be submitted by peers or supervisors. The first recognition will take place at the Chamber Luncheon on April 9 and the deadline for nominations is Friday, March 27. There is more information available on the district website staff page

    I would like to share the blog link http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2014/09/05/stem-is-incredibly-valuable-but-if-we-want-the-best-innovators-we-must-teach-the-arts/   which makes the case that while STEM is incredibly valuable, if we want the best innovators we must teach the arts.  Interestingly, this concept seems to make a great deal of sense and adds to the debate on what is a well-rounded education and how best do we make sure that all students have this opportunity – no exceptions.   I plan to include these comments in my remarks on Friday. 

    The Kitsap Sun recently recognized two more fantastic teachers in our district.  The Kitsap Sun recent teacher spotlights are Emily Yellowlees from Orchard Heights and

    Christina Lund from Burley Glenwood.  We are so blessed to have such outstanding staff in the district.  Well done.   

     

    Between now and the end of the school year a variety of field trips are usually planned. Trips may be for academic enhancement, extra-curricular activities, visiting schools for the transition from elementary to junior high and junior high to high school, etc.  Whatever the reason or the distance, I want to take this opportunity to remind all of you to remember the extra planning that it takes to ensure that your students with health conditions are safe on these field trips.  In order to ensure that your students have the proper medication and treatment on the field trip, please be sure to submit the permission slip for the field trip or notify the school nurse at least two weeks prior to the date of the field trip. This will provide plenty of time for the school nurse to ensure that the proper medication and instructions in case of a medical emergency are provided to you and the student so that all have a safe and enjoyable experience. More specific information may be found on the “SKSD Medication Administration  Field Trip Preparation and Skills Check List”  If you have any questions, please contact your school nurse. 

    Finally, I wish each of you a fantastic spring week-end.

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 3/5/2015
    What a great weather week for the first week of March!!  We are so grateful that we are not under multiple feet of snow…A reminder that Daylight Saving Time 2015 begins Sunday, March 8 – that would be this week-end ;>)  And everyone was just getting used to light during the early morning hours of the day on the way to work ;>)

    As we get closer to spring, it is time to turn our thoughts to spring sports.  Members of the South Kitsap High School Baseball team were invited to the USA Today/King 5 Spring Sports Kickoff.  Coach Logue, Cooper Canton, and Will Gatlin represented South Kitsap baseball while touring King 5 Studios and going through interviews with King 5 Sports Reporter Paul Silvi. Everyone did a fantastic job representing the South Kitsap community and we look forward to a great season. 

    At tonight’s Boundary Review Committee meeting, the committee will be addressing the district’s open enrollment policy, considering a student assignment structure and reviewing, revising and creating boundary scenarios for consideration by the committee.   A discussion of the questions for consideration regarding the district’s open enrollment policy and procedure will also take place.  At its meeting next week, the committee will finalize its choices of at least two, but no more than three boundary scenarios to share at the public forums on March 18 at Cedar Heights and March 19 at John Sedgwick.  These scenarios will also be part of a Thoughtexchange process. 

    This afternoon I had occasion to speak with Ms. Laura Smith, the principal at Hidden Creek Elementary, and asked her to share her experience reading Horton Hatches the Egg with Mrs. Johnson’s second grade class today:  Ms. Smith shared; “As an International Baccalaureate Candidate School, we have worked hard to teach our students about the Learner Profile and what it means to be inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers, knowledgeable, principled, caring, open-minded, balanced and reflective.  While reading Horton Hatches the Egg today, the second graders were very quick to tell me that Horton was quite open-minded and a risk-taker for agreeing to sit on the egg; he was nervous about this task but he tried it anyway.  They also pointed out that he was quite a thinker for figuring out how to prop up the tree to hold his weight.  The students all agreed that, most of all, Horton was principled and caring as he never once thought about reneging on his promise to take care of the egg.  For as we know,” an elephant’s faithful 100 percent!” (Dr. Seuss)  It is such a joy to see how our students are learning these traits and are able to identify them in others.”  Well done.

    It is that time of year when we are turning our attention to planning for the 2015-16 school year and finalizing our enrollment projections.  We are doing these early so that we can make any necessary adjustments well in time as we maintain open communication and institutional stability.  This is an important disciplined practice as prior planning does prevent poor performance…  I am including our recent historical demographic enrollment data.  I am also including the enrollment projection worksheet prepared by Ms. Tracy Patterson, our Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations.  As you might recall, we have at times overshot and at other times undershot our enrollment projections and both scenarios have negative consequences.   At this time, we are planning to budget on an annual average FTE (AAFTE) of  8940, understanding that we are looking at an average actual head count of likely 9559 students.  As you are out in the community, and know this community better than I do; I would be interested in your thoughts as to rather or not you see more movement into the district v. movement out of the district.  We know there are a number of new homes being both planned and built; but, you never know how many children might occupy them.  As you know, this is a critical decision we must make, as the enrollment becomes the revenue driver upon which our budget and staffing is based.  Thank you for your assistance with this, I really appreciate it. 

    Judging for Olympic ESD 114's 2015 Regional High School Art Show has recently been completed and South Kitsap High School has three winners!  Claudia Rocha’s "Breathe" has been judged as a Regional Winner and will advance to the state-level Superintendent’s High School Art Show at Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Claudia’s piece has also been chosen by Central Washington University to receive a $1000.00 Scholarship Award.  Riley Williams’ "House Alone" has been judged as a Regional Winner and will advance to the state-level Superintendent’s High School Art Show at Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).  Caitlyn Williams’ “Hint of Blue” has been voted “People’s Choice”. Caitlyn will receive a $200.00 purchase award and her piece will be added to Olympic ESD 114’s High School Art Gallery. Please feel free to congratulate Claudia, Riley and Caitlyn, as well as their instructors, Ms. Cathy Duttry, and Mr. Donald Sandmann, on their achievements!

    Interestingly, as I was visiting the high school this morning, I had occasion to stop in to one of our classrooms in the world language department.  Ms. Noriko F. Gonzales, a Japanese language teacher at the high school, was working with her first year Japanese students.  The Pacific Rim languages are new to our district this year and I am thrilled with the progress our students are making.  Ms. Gonzales shared student work samples with me.  I find this level of understanding in the first year amazing !!  Well done. 

    The South Kitsap High School NJROTC Wolf Battalion won last Saturday's drill meet at Curtis High School in Tacoma and earned a second place finish in the Narrow's Division of the JROTC Northwest Drill & Rifle Conference.  The Wolf Battalion Academic and Precision Marksmanship teams took first place, the Strength and Sporter Marksmanship teams finished second and the Unarmed and Armed Drill Teams finished third. South Kitsap also won the Dual Unarmed Exhibition Drill contest.  Well done.

    Finally, a staff member recently shared this http://youtu.be/u6XAPnuFjJc video on motivation with me.  It is another remarkably provocative idea that is timely in so many discussions prevalent today.  Dan Pink's lecture outlines his ideas about the surprising truth about what motivates us and illustrates what he believes to be the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace.  I would be interested in your thoughts on this topic.

    Warmest regards,       Spring Forward

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Susan Southard at 2/26/2015

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    What another great week here in the Pacific Northwest!!  It is hard to believe that we are approaching the first week of March.  It has often been said that the days are long but the years are short…  As I get older, I find this to be more and more true. 

    Last week, while I was doing a site visit at Olalla Elementary School, I had occasion to visit Stephanie Darragh’s second grade class.  Her second grade students were hard at work in their efforts to balance pencils on their tips. To accomplish this, they applied what they had learned about strategic placement of counterweights and balance points in order to accomplish this balancing feat using wire and clothespins. To say they were eager to meet this challenge would be an understatement! The cheers of "I did it!" rippling through the classroom were wonderful to hear.  I find it so inspiring that our second graders in this STEM program were contemplating scientific ‘big ideas’ that challenge scientists in the field.  Our future is in good hands.  Well done.

    Tonight’s Boundary Review Committee will be a busy one.  On the agenda, there will be a list of the eight draft boundary scenarios that have been presented thus far. The committee will be making recommendations regarding the open enrollment policy and procedure; whether or not to recommend a student assignment structure as it applies to boundaries; whether or not to consider grade configuration as part of their boundary recommendation, and if so, what grade configuration; and which, if any, of the draft boundary scenarios to eliminate.  Once these recommendations have been made, the committee will review and analyze the remaining scenarios within the context of maintaining them as they are; revising them, combining them, and/or creating new scenarios.  Based on the work accomplished this evening, the committee will determine if they will be ready to go on March 11 and 12 for the public forums or if they will need to reschedule them for one week later.  More to come on this important topic. 

    I want to note that this past week the Board reviewed the January financial report and we continue to look healthy at this time of the year as the budget is tracking well with projections.  I need to mention that this coming month we will be making our levy committed transfer to the capital fund from the general fund so that we can address the roofs and other capital projects scheduled for this summer.  At this time, our plan is to replace the roofs at Burley Glenwood, Hidden Creek, and Mullenix Ridge this summer.  As promised, I will continue to provide these monthly reports in my memo so that we can all track the budget progress throughout the year.  If you have questions on the interpretation of this chart, please do not hesitate to contact me.  As we now know how the current year budget is tracking, we will be continuing to evaluate additional supports necessary in the schools to maintain the high expectations we are all committed to for each of our students – no exceptions.  Our February enrollment report continues to trend better than budget and better than last year, in fact better than the last several years.  This is also a sign of stability for us as a district. 

    Recently, I have received several questions about the progress of various committees that have been meeting this year.  I want to remind each of you that there are multiple groups working collaboratively on topics ranging from strategic planning, assessment, professional development, innovative programs, the highly capable program, and curriculum topics.  The District Committee webpage is a resource for information on these topics.  As the school year progresses, the committees are getting close to making their recommendations.  One of the committees, the Highly Capable Program Task Force, is slated to make their recommendation to me on March 5.  Kris Christenberry, Assistant Principal at Marcus Whitman Junior High, has done an exemplary job in leading this Task Force of approximately thirty people.  I look forward to the recommendation and the discussion with the Task Force.  Answering the call to serve on these district committees is so appreciated by all of us.  At a time when we are all so busy, I want to express my gratitude to those willing to shoulder this challenging work so integral to our success as a district.  Our students are better for your efforts. 

    Finally, I received this from a staff member today.  This is a great girl / young woman engineering project for wearable technology from Pomona, CA. Happy Girl Day for Engineering Week! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlvWt7PKD4E&feature=youtu.be  I am so excited that we as a district are poised to have our young people successfully compete in this evolving world.  Innovative thinking and programming are at the heart of robust instructional experiences for our students. 

    Enjoy the last days of February.

    Warmest regards,

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 2/19/2015

    What another great week!!  We are so lucky that we have had the weather we have had in the last couple of weeks.  Our friends on the east coast indicate that they have been buried in snow with frigid cold the past couple of weeks.  I suspect that it has clearly been an east coast ground hog this year that predicted six more weeks of winter. 

    It is with great pride that I share a letter from Governor Inslee, commending our district as one of the top-performing districts in the state in terms of signups for the College Bound Scholarship program.  Our district, thanks to the tireless efforts of our junior high staff at all three junior high schools in the district, signed up more than 89% of the eligible candidates for this scholarship program.  This is definitely walking the talk of all children – no exceptions.   Well done!! 

    We will soon be accepting applications for the 2015-16 first grade Spanish Immersion program at Burley Glenwood Elementary.  The students in this year’s Spanish Immersion program will move on to the second grade Spanish Immersion program.  “Wherever we are, whatever our line of work, we are affected by nearly everything else that’s happening in the world….Society should be prepared to communicate and do business across international boundaries….Community, business and civic leaders increasingly will build relationships with counterparts in other nations.” Gary Marx, Sixteen Trends.   The following link from the Spanish Immersion Program by Minnetonka Public Schools http://vimeo.com/14073214 provides an informative look into what an immersion program entails and how one district in the country has captured the experience.  Central to the South Kitsap Spanish Immersion Program is the knowledge that we are preparing our students for a vastly different future and world than in the past and even the present. Creative, inquisitive and innovative thinking integrated with collaborative, communicative, compassionate and global minded attributes are the components of successful citizenship in the 21st Century. 

    At tonight’s Boundary Review Committee meeting, committee members will hear information from Jerry Holsten, Principal of South Kitsap High School, regarding the capacity of the high school to accommodate the space and the instructional needs of the ninth graders if a recommendation is made to move the ninth graders to the high school.  The committee will be presented with an eighth scenario that combines addressing the immediate need of balancing the elementary enrollment with the longer term look at grade reconfiguration.  This scenario will provide the committee with a sample of a scenario that is phased in over several years.  Following the presentations, the committee will begin work on reviewing, analyzing, and revising the scenarios that have been presented and creating additional scenarios based on the information they have received in their last four meetings. 

    At this week’s Board meeting, we primarily focused on capital project needs and a check-in on our current capital levy planning.  Mr. Tom O’Brien, our Director of Facilities and Operations provided a thorough review on the plans completed and those yet on the docket.  As a district, you can feel good about the fact that we are doing exactly what we said we were going to do, when last we went to our voters with our levy proposal.  This builds trust.  Given that we are a Policy Governance district; as a continuing part of my evaluation, the Board also reviewed Executive Limitations 9 (EL 9) and Executive Limitation 10 (EL 10) connected to the topics discussed that evening.  In addition, the Elton Goodwin Foundation made a presentation on improvements they are planning to make to the athletic facilities at South Kitsap High School.    

    Thank you to the many folks who took the time to share your thoughts on the Thoughtexchange platform as we had over 8,000 thoughts shared.  Beginning this past Monday, the second phase of this engagement process began.  You will be asked to “Star” those thoughts you deem most important. You will have the opportunity to read the unedited thoughts, both your own and a subset of other community members’ thoughts, assigning stars to the thoughts you like best. This is a very important part of our process as we will be winnowing down the brainstorm of thousands of ideas to those big ideas that will become central to our 2020 Plan. Even if you did not have an opportunity to participate in the thought sharing phase, you can still be part of the prioritization phase.   Thank you for your efforts. 

    Finally, a staff member shared the following video link: NEED TO KNOW | School of thought in Brockton, Mass. | PBS that I have found very provocative.  From the staff member;  “It is a great video on a high school in Brockton, MA.  It is very thought provoking in this season of testing.  Making a change that surpasses 'the test' and inspires long lasting change!”  Please take a moment and view it.  Rather or not you teach at the high school level, the premise is sound.  I know we are doing incredible work here in our district and also are facing new Common Core expectations.  I look forward to hearing what you think…

    Enjoy a great end of the week.

    Warmest regards,


    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 2/12/2015

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    What a fantastic week we are having.  It is also great to look forward to a celebratory President’s Day weekend.  One of my favorite presidents is Theodore Roosevelt, who became the youngest President in American history at the age of 42 and memorably commented; “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    In this spirit, the high school celebrated the mid-year graduation for students who persevered to reach their diplomas albeit a bit later than their peers.  I salute the many staff members and students who made this event possible.  It was a great celebration of the human spirit and the value of perseverance in action.  Well done !!

    The Boundary Review Committee met tonight. At the meeting, the following topics were discussed --

    • Addressing the issue of enrollment imbalance at the elementary level. Some of our schools are over capacity while others are under capacity.
    • Looking at possible grade level re-configuration as a strategy in meeting the needs of equitable student enrollment distribution scenarios
    • Looking at possible school closure scenarios as they support student enrollment and fiscal responsibility.

    The Committee received information on the educational rationale for looking at grade reconfiguration and examples of how other districts have reconfigured their grade levels were shared.  The Committee was presented with 4 straw design boundary change scenarios to which they will provide feedback.  At the February 19 meeting, the committee will review all seven options that have been presented; suggest revisions to these options, and submit new options for consideration. 

    It is great that the Kitsap Sun has featured another one of our fabulous teachers, Donna Hollon from South Colby.  Ms. Hollon regularly teaches and inspires third graders. We continue to be so blessed with the hard working and dedicated teachers in this great district.  At our most recent Board meeting, leadership students from Hidden Creek provided evidence supporting Ends 5.  They did an exemplary job of demonstrating their commitment to doing their best.  Our future is in capable hands.   Additionally, two staff members from East Port Orchard Elementary School received NIB awards, nominated by their principal, Mr. Paul Hulbert, for their quick thinking in a medical emergency involving one of the staff members at the school.  These nurses, Ms. Laurine Burrer and Ms. Jennifer Hogan, are to be commended for their professional action. 

    As we continue our strategic planning process, I had one of our staff members share the following TED talk.  In contemplating the importance of systems level planning, I think this link is interesting http://www.ted.com/talks/tom_wujec_got_a_wicked_problem_first_tell_me_how_you_make_toast .  We will be continuing our on-line strategic planning process in the coming weeks.  Thank you to the many folks who took the time to share your thoughts on the Thoughtexchange platform as we had over 8,000 thoughts shared.  Beginning on Monday, the second phase of this engagement process will commence.  You will be asked to “Star” those thoughts you deem most important. You will have the opportunity to read the unedited thoughts, both your own and a subset of other community members’ thoughts, assigning stars to the thoughts you like best. This is a very important part of our process as we will be winnowing down the brainstorm of thousands of ideas to those big ideas that will become central to our 2020 Plan. Even if you did not have an opportunity to participate in the thought sharing phase, you can still be part of the prioritization phase.   Thank you for your efforts.

    Congratulations to all the student athletes competing as the high school winter sports season is winding down.  A big shout out to the Girls’ Bowling Team as they captured a sixth place finish at the recent State Tournament.  Let’s continue to cheer on the swimmers, wrestlers, and basketball players!! 

    And so, I will end with; “Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don't have the strength.” -- Theodore Roosevelt

    Go Wolves !!

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 2/5/2015

    Hello team South Kitsap,

    Well, it looks like another six weeks of winter.  Groundhog Day is a time of wonderment as science intersects with folklore; who is to say where the expertise lies and how often has the Groundhog been correct? Groundhog Day 2015: Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow, predicts six more weeks of winter  time will tell; only the groundhog knows;>)

    Our strategic planning initiative kicked off the public engagement phase last week with the activation of the Thoughtexchange process.  The Thoughtexchange process is an opportunity for our parents, staff, students, and community members to share their perspective about our schools. Please visit and share this link before the end of day Friday, February 6, : http://skitsap.thoughtexchange.com/invitation and be part of the discussion as we consider tomorrow today and plan our future together. 

    With regard to the Imagine the Possibilities event held last Saturday, we had a great turnout with close to 300 people attending.  There was a nice mix of community members, staff, students and parents in attendance.  Many great ideas were shared and will continue to be discussed in the coming weeks.  We had an opportunity to view the recent video link from Sir Kenneth Robinson https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7MsevbI8LosbldIYU9oaUtEOWs/view and engaged in robust discourse.  A preliminary data set summary from the day is assisting us in formulating next steps in our thinking and planning process. 

    On Monday, enrollment opened for the 2015-16 school year! Along with the new registration season, we are also launching a new web-based pre-registration system to streamline the process. Parents will be welcomed by Reggie Z. (designed by our own Noah Andrews, a student in Mrs. Duttry’s SKHS graphics arts class) who will guide them through the questions and forms needed to get their student registered for school. You can visit Reggie Z. at his new home on the district enrollment web site -- http://www.skitsap.wednet.edu/enrollment  Parents will still finish up registration by visiting the office, but the online pre-registration will save time during their visit to the school. Speaking of the office ~ special thanks to our office teams who have been very busy learning the new pre-registration system and are now processing all of those new registrations from eager parents! Also, a special thanks to our intrepid IT Department staff who have done such a nice job heading up this initiative.  Within the first four days we've already had over 25 online pre-registrations!  We will continue to be resolutely committed to reaching out to all families – no exceptions. 

    Tonight, the focus of the Boundary Review Committee is the charge of balancing elementary enrollment.  The committee will be presented with information regarding the district’s open enrollment policy, the concept of a student assignment structure and with three possible options for balancing enrollment in our elementary schools.  Attached is the agenda for tonight’s meeting.  Next week, February 12, the committee will be presented with information regarding the instructional rationale for looking at grade reconfiguration and will also be presented with a couple of options for the use of grade configuration as a means for balancing enrollment.

    I want to note that this past week the Board reviewed the December financial report and we continue to look healthy at this time of the year as the budget is tracking well with projections.  As promised, I will continue to provide these monthly reports in my memo so that we can all track the budget progress throughout the year.  If you have questions on the interpretation of this chart, please do not hesitate to contact me.  As we now know how the current year budget is tracking, we will be evaluating additional supports necessary in the schools to maintain the high expectations we are all committed to for each of our students – no exceptions.  Our January enrollment report continues to trend better than budget and better than last year.  This is also a sign of stability for us as a district. 

    Finally, Jimmy Fallon has nothing on our own South Kitsap Improv Group.  The South Kitsap High School Acting Ensemble has challenged Jimmy Fallon to an improv off. The SK Ensemble is asking everyone to contact Jimmy Fallon over social media to see if he will meet the challenge.  We are so proud to have such talented young people and staff.   See their challenge video here  We are so proud of our district commitment to the fine and performing arts and continue to be resolutely committed to excellence in all aspects of performance.  Further, we recognize the disciplined efforts required to achieve this excellence and applaud the work these young people and staff have contributed. 

    Game on Mr. Fallon !! 

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 1/28/2015

    What a great week of planning and expectation.  I do not recall specifically who said that prior planning prevents poor performance; but, whoever said it has to be sure that the Seahawks are living it these last two weeks.  For sure, our South Kitsap High School students are ready for the big game and have a prediction they are not shy about sharing with us http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPtpHAV0T9w

     A big shout out to our Transportation Staff Team.  On Monday evening, we had an extremely serious medical emergency at our transportation department and three of our bus drivers, Sandy Erickson, Loretta Mehs and Jim Westermann took immediate action.  These heroic drivers performed CPR and administered the AED unit until the South Kitsap Fire and Rescue crews arrived on scene, thereby saving the life of one of our bus drivers.  Pam Roland, our Assistant Transportation Director, and our Transportation Department Router, Monica Mulligan both responded swiftly as well and contacted 911 and maintaining communications within the department, with emergency services and the district office.   Transportation Director Jay Rosapepe, commented; "It’s very gratifying that the training everyone has received has had such a positive result.  The professionalism that transportation employees demonstrated is commendable in all respects." We are so blessed to have such competent, generous, and compassionate staff family members.  Well done!!

    We have certainly had an eventful week. Our strategic planning initiative kicked off the public engagement phase this week with the activation of the Thoughtexchange process on Monday.  The Thoughtexchange process is an opportunity for our parents, staff, students, and community members to share their perspective about our schools. Please visit and share this link: http://skitsap.thoughtexchange.com/invitation and be part of the discussion as we consider tomorrow today and plan our future together.

    The Imagine the Possibilities event at Marcus Whitman Junior High on January 31, from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm is another opportunity to participate in the planning discussion. Both Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Boeing will have representatives present to discuss how the world is changing.  Please RSVP as soon as possible to millera@skitsap.wednet.edu or 360-874-7005.  We currently have 264 confirmed participants and will limit the event to 300. 

    The Boundary Review Committee will have its second meeting tonight at 6:00 pm in the library at John Sedgwick Junior High.  The focus of tonight’s meeting is “magnet” and centralized instructional programs.  Committee members will be provided information on a variety of programs that can have enrollment and facility capacity implications.  At its meeting next week (February 5), the Boundary Review Committee will review and discuss options for one of the committee’s purposes which is to address the issue of enrollment imbalance at the elementary level as some of our elementary schools are over capacity while others are under capacity.  I also want to quell any rumors about grade level moves for the coming year.  I have been asked several times about rather or not we are moving the sixth grade to the junior highs or the ninth grade to the high school for the coming year.  I want to clearly state that we will not be moving the sixth grade or the ninth grade for the 2015-16 school year.  Any move of this magnitude would only be undertaken with the utmost care and planning. As educators, we recognize that these are not just grade configurations; they are educational program designs and therefore require care and planning to support the best possible teaching and learning environment for all involved. 

    I want to confirm the next two elementary schools that will be adding free all-day kindergarten in the fall of 2015.   As you might recall, last March, I shared a memo outlining the implementation plan for all-day kindergarten in the South Kitsap School District.  Based on the current free and reduced lunch percentage data available to us, the next two schools to be added to the free all-day kindergarten program plan are Manchester Elementary and Hidden Creek Elementary.  Accordingly, if the State comes through with additional targeted funding for all-day kindergarten, we will be able to consider accelerating the implementation of this program for our children.    

    Wow, what a great article on the Discovery students and the local salmon project.  Jerry Polley’s class continues to do amazing work with this important environmental topic.  Please take a moment and learn more about it http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/local-news/students-release-thousands-of-salmon-in-restored-stream_64423924 .

    This week, our school principals are involved in a professional development activity that is job embedded and designed to support their work in the realm of educational leadership with a primary focus on effective strategies for supportive teacher evaluation work.  With the new TPEP expectations in our state, both teachers and principals are expected to have professional development that support these new statewide targets.  A big thank you to the staff at Orchard Heights Elementary, Mullenix Ridge Elementary and Marcus Whitman Junior High as they have hosted our principal teams doing this work over the course of the week.  Love the learning…

    I received this article from a staff person at the high school and loved it.  As this is the season, I thought I would share it with you and trust you will find it as provocative as I find it https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-seahawks-can-teach-us-education-chris-mccrummen  The ideas of authentic feedback continue to be research based and productive for supportive accountable communities. 

    Go Hawks and have a great rest of the week.

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 1/22/2015

    January is certainly marching forward with all the excitement winter weather brings.  And what about those Seahawks!!  There is such an excitement and buzz about the upcoming Super Bowl.  Pete Carroll is often heard to say, “Those that work harder and longer generally win the game. It’s all about that ‘finish’ mindset. You've got to finish right if you want to be champions.”  That certainly described the recent win and not surprisingly also the hard work each of you are doing on a daily basis to support our students in this great district.  Thank you. 

    We had a staff presence at the Naval Base Kitsap Kindergarten Fair earlier this week.  Roscoe and staff welcomed military families and their children as the season of kindergarten registration is now upon us.  Connected to this topic, a determination of which two elementary schools that are up next for free all-day kindergarten will be made on February 1.  We continue to hope that the legislature will view this early education initiative as a priority and fully fund all-day kindergarten for all. 

    I want to note that this past week the Board reviewed the November financial report and we continue to look healthy at this time of the year as the budget is tracking well with projections.  As promised, I will continue to provide these monthly reports in my memo so that we can all track the budget progress throughout the year.  If you have questions on the interpretation of this chart, please do not hesitate to contact me.  As we now know how the current year budget is tracking, we will be evaluating additional supports necessary in the schools to maintain the high expectations we are all committed to for each of our students – no exceptions.  Our January enrollment report continues to trend better than budget and better than last year.  This is also a sign of stability for us as a district. 

    A reminder that you are invited to attend a Community Event with community leaders, staff, parents, and students.  We are holding this event at Marcus Whitman JH on Saturday, January 31, 2015 from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm.  We are providing a light breakfast and lunch as well as childcare.  Many thanks to the local YMCA for providing this service at no charge for this important event.  This event is extremely important as we will be charting our 2020 Plan with the community.  This strategic plan will then drive our resources for the next several years.  I look forward to seeing you there.   Also, In the coming week, we will be launching an on-line component of our strategic planning process.  We are working with Thoughtexchange, which is an on-line service provider that supports strategic planning processes and other community, staff and student engagement processes.  The following video link is helpful in seeing how other districts have used this provider: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zooCJgAyms  I am excited about the possibilities.  This approach provides an authentic engagement process focused on listening to the ideas and thoughts you have so that we might chart the best possible 2020 path for our district.  In moving forward to meeting the needs of the 21st Century Whole Child, it will take all our best thinking and ideas. 

    As we continue to move forward with Innovative Program ideas, I continue to receive interesting video material from staff.  This video link Carol Dweck: The power of believing that you can improve deals with the topic of mindset and the concept of the importance of effective effort on the part of students as well as the expectations we as educators hold for our students.  This is a powerful concept.  I also recently read an interesting idea from the NY Times, Helping the Poor in Education: The Power of a Simple Nudge  ; another provocative school support idea.  More often than not; it is the small things we do and the  exquisitely simple ideas that pack the most power in getting results for young people.  There are so many ways in which we show we care… 

    Last Thursday, January 15, the Boundary Review Committee had its first meeting with the parent representatives and reviewed the charge for their work this spring.  Each school in the district is represented by two parents and the principal. The committee adopted participation norms and were provided with information from the district’s Elementary Enrollment Capacity Study and from the district’s Enrollment Study.  The committee also received open enrollment information for each elementary school. The Boundary Review Committee’s next meeting is Thursday, January 29 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm at John Sedgwick Jr. High.  The public is welcome to come and observe the process and provide written comments or questions that will be shared with the committee.    

    As the Long Range Capital Facilities Committee continues its work to map out a thirty year capital facilities plan, Mr. Bill Coon, the SW WA Regional Coordinator for the OSPI division of School Facilities & Organization, visited the group and shared our district specific school construction matching money scenarios.  Interestingly, every square foot of school building space in the district is eligible for state matching construction monies due to the length of time since we have done any construction in the district.  Mr. Coon remarked on the rarity of this scenario and indicates it also presents great opportunities for us as a district and community. 

    We had another amazing South Kitsap teacher as the Kitsap Sun teacher spotlight of Ryan Manning from Mullenix .  We are so proud of the work of Mr. Manning and the many amazing and hardworking teachers in this proud district.  Well done. 

    Go Hawks!!

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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